Graduate Students Host Science Communication Conference

Graduate students from around the Southeast are gathered on campus this week to get better at talking about science.

Georgia Tech is hosting this year’s ComSciCon-Atlanta, a local version of a national communications conference for graduate students. In partnership with Emory University, Georgia Tech and Emory graduate students have organized the two-day event that provides workshops, panel discussions, mock interviews, and critiques for the 50 master’s and Ph.D. students in attendance.

The conference began Thursday and continues today with a keynote from Joe Hanson, a science writer, biologist, and YouTube educator. Hanson is the creator and host of It’s Okay To Be Smart, an award-winning science education show from PBS Digital Studios that celebrates curiosity and the pleasure of discovery. Day one also included panels on remaining engaged as an academic and on science communication in creative outlets as well as interactive sessions on storytelling, using humor, and data visualization.

“It’s so rewarding to have so many engaged graduate students here, exploring best practices and developing new techniques for science communication as an essential component of their training as future researchers,” said Laura Mast, a graduate student in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering and one of the conference's organizers.

The event also features several Georgia Tech faculty members, including Manu Platt, associate professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering; Pete Ludovice, associate professor in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering; Lew Lefton, assistant dean and senior academic professional in the School of Mathematics; Kim Cobb, Georgia Power Chair and ADVANCE Professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences; Ian Bogost, Ivan Allen College Distinguished Chair in Media Studies and professor of Interactive Computing; Jennifer Leavey, senior academic professional in the School of Biological Sciences; David Hu, assistant professor in the School of Biological Sciences; Nassim JafariNaimi, assistant professor in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication; and James (JC) Gumbart, assistant professor in the School of Physics.

Learn more about the event at comscicon.com/comscicon-atlanta-2018-program.

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Kristen Bailey

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